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Reasons to use a will dispute expert

The importance of choosing an expert in probate and litigation work when you’re thinking of disputing a will. You may be considering bringing a challenge to a will – and if you are, it’s important to use a will disputes expert, a point that was recently highlighted in the case of Lyons & Anor v Kerr-Robinson The Facts Cynthia Lyons died intestate leaving property in Jamaica and England. She had […]

piles of money to illustrate what is reasonable financial provision after teh case of Wooldridge v Wooldridge

Will I have to pay costs if I don’t challenge a will

A lesson learned for those who force an estate to take action to prove a will, but have no reasonable grounds to challenge the will and take no steps to do so. In most cases where someone wants to have a will ‘proved’ but does not bring an active case to challenge the validity of the will themselves, a ‘no costs’ rule applies. An exception is when the court decides […]

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Charities fight back to claim bequests

Later this month, the Supreme Court is set to consider provisions in the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 as charities seek to preserve their bequests following a ruling in favour of the testator’s estranged daughter. There have been a number of high profile news stories regarding will disputes and inheritance issues hitting the press recently. However, later this month, the Court of Appeal is set to consider […]

rolling dice and weighing up the risks of contesting a will

Contesting a will – what are the risks?

You may feel aggrieved by your inheritance, or feel that your loved one’s will should not stand – but what are the risks of contesting a will? Your loved one has died, and taking legal action may be the last thing you want to think about, but if you feel that the will doesn’t reflect the true intentions of the deceased, or that you will struggle financially in the future […]

Lewis v Warner looks ta reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance Act where a common law spouse has his own independent means

Reasonable Financial Provision – Lewis v Warner

Can the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 help someone who is able to provide for themselves? We look at the case of Lewis v Warner, in which a common law partner who sought to purchase the house where he had lived for the last 20 years and avoid eviction by the sole beneficiary of his deceased partner’s will. The Facts The deceased had left her entire estate […]

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Intestacy – can I challenge the rules?

We talk a lot about how to challenge a will, but what happens if someone dies without making a will? In this blog, we look at the intestacy rules, how they work in practice, and your options if you aren’t included. A number of high profile personalities have passed away recently without leaving a valid will, meaning that the intestacy provisions have received quite a lot of publicity. Rik Mayall, […]

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Contesting Wills – the Practicalities

You may feel aggrieved by the provisions of a will – but what are the practicalities of contesting wills in the UK? In the wake of the death of a relative, a close friend, there are many things to contend with, not least your grief. Notwithstanding how difficult the weeks and months that follow, there are many practical steps that need to be taken when someone close to you has […]

piles of money to illustrate what is reasonable financial provision after teh case of Wooldridge v Wooldridge

Inheritance Act – reasonable financial provision

We look at what constitutes reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975  following the case of Wooldridge v Wooldridge The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Inheritance Act) gives dependants a mechanism to claim ‘maintenance’ – beyond what they may already have been left under the will concerned – from the estate of the deceased. But what amounts to reasonable financial […]

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What evidence do I need to contest a will?

The grounds to challenge a will There are specific grounds on which you can challenge a will as being invalid. We’ve covered them before, but it’s always worth repeating. Briefly, you are looking at the following: the ‘mental capacity’ of the person making the will (the ‘testator’), whether there was ‘undue influence or coercion’, lack of ‘knowledge or approval’ of the contents of the will by the testator, whether the […]

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Left without an Inheritance? What can you do?

If you’ve been left without an inheritance, what options do you have to challenge a will? There have been a number of high profile examples of people challenging a will because they feel they feel cheated of their inheritance. Not only that, a number of high profile figures have announced that they will not be leaving an inheritance for their children: Anita Roddick of the Body Shop, cook and writer […]

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Am I too late to bring a claim for maintenance under the Inheritance Act 1975?

As unpalatable as it may seem following the death of a loved one, if the deceased’s will does not make provision for you, you will need to act quickly to bring a claim for maintenance under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. In the aftermath of the death of your spouse or parent, the last thing that might be on your mind as you plan a funeral, […]

confused lady wondering whether she can contest a will

Can I contest a will?

Can I contest a will? It’s a question we’re often asked, and a recent case considered the wider question of who has sufficient ‘interest’ to contest a will. To challenge a will, you must be able to show that you have an ‘interest’ in the estate of the deceased person – usually close relative or someone who has been treated as such. In a recent case, Randall v Randall [2016] […]

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The (almost) A-Z of a will dispute

Will dispute? Confused by legal jargon? Our blog should help make things clearer! The law that applies in the case of a will dispute is full of technical language, much of it deriving from years gone by, and often difficult to understand, even by lawyers who specialise in other areas of the law.  Our (almost) A-Z guide should help you get to grips with what’s going on – and if […]

Delusions and dementia – sufficient evidence to contest a will?

Following a recent High Court decision, we look at the evidence necessary to contest a will on the grounds that the person making the will did not have the mental capacity to do so. One of the grounds for contesting a will is to argue that the person making the will, ‘the testator’, did not have mental capacity to do so. This is often referred to as ‘not being of […]

Challenging The Validity Of A Will

Anyone that feels as though they have been treated unfairly or anyone who has experienced a family dispute relating to a will; will be pleased to know that there are opportunities to challenge the validity of the will. Wanting more money or feeling aggrieved that you haven’t received a particular item or asset isn’t enough to challenge a will but there are a number of reasons why contesting a will […]

Disputing A Will Based On Undue Influence

Given that a person has the right to pass their estate on to whoever they choose; it could be argued that the contents of a will should be taken as they are provided. However, and even allowing for people to be experiencing a wide range of emotions after the passing of someone close to them, there will be times when there are suspicions about the contents of a will. It […]

The Main Grounds For Contesting A Will

When it comes to contesting a will, there are a number of reasons available and here are the main grounds for contesting a will: A lack of testamentary capacity A lack of valid execution A lack of knowledge and approval Undue influence Fraudulent or forged will Construction and rectification claims A lack of testamentary capacity A person making a will has to be of sound mind and a legal test […]

Who Can Contest A Will?

Given that wills are mainly associated with someone’s passing, it is only natural that it will be a difficult time for many people, with a wide range of emotions being experienced. A lot of the time, many people are not focussed on a will, dealing with the issues of losing someone that they love as opposed to worrying too much about how the assets will be divided. However, there are […]

What are my chances of success in a will contest claim?

Consider these: • Really the estate is going to have to be big enough to warrant a claim – principles don’t pay bills! • Likewise your interest in the outcome of the dispute has to be big enough to warrant a claim (a bad example: you successfully prove a Will to be invalid, meaning the earlier Will is now the legal Will, under which you are left a legacy of […]

How do I contest as will?

The starting point is understanding that in England and Wales a mother or father is not obliged to leave his or her estate to their child or children and that “family” money or property doesn’t automatically pass to a blood relative. The bottom line is you cannot contest a Will because it is “unfair”. The next issue is the estate size. It is very expensive to engage Solicitors, Barristers and […]

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